I write contemporary coming of age young adult novels.
It’s a mouthful and it might not even be the correct terminology – I have no idea – but it’s what I write. I write books set in the now, in a real city in the real world with fictional characters going through things that real people would and do go through.
They are not set in space (although I have a crazy idea for a police series about a human cop on an alien space station…but that’s for another time and place). There’s no dragons or witches…not the kind that fly on brooms anyways. My characters don’t travel through time, battle demons with swords, or play sports in mid-air. They go to school, deal with first loves, and have really big decisions to make. I write about the small everyday things that are huge for that person and character.
And I love it!
I recently filled out an Author Business Assessment sheet for a class I’m taking and one of the things we worked through was our mission statement. Who are we writing for and why?
I answered that I write realistic, relatable characters for young adults who feel misunderstood, lonely, are bored sometimes, love their families and friends, and wish they had all the answers.
My mission is to let them know they are not alone, that everyone goes through heartbreak, laugh so hard they cry, fear people laughing at them, and that horrible sick feeling in their stomach when they lose. My books are pure escapism and entertainment, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make my readers feel something – they should…if I’ve done my job right.
Writing YA takes me back to when I was young and had decisions to make that would change the course of my life. To when I was first living on my own in Manhattan and I felt alone and scared, but also feeling hopeful and alive and loving the pulse of the city. Creating these characters keeps me young, keeps me up on what’s cool and what’s in – I mean, I can’t really figure out TikTok, but I know it’s a THING!
Why do you like reading Young Adult novels? Do you stick to one niche or are you a voracious reader across multiple genres? I pretty much stick to YA at this point, but I was also in love with Stephen King for a while and James Patterson’s Alex Cross series. I would love to know your answer so let me know in the comments below.
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